Saturday, September 24, 2011

Defunct U.S. Satellite: 11 AM Sydney-Time [updated]

The latest projections have the UARS satellite contacting the earth's atmosphere around 11 AM Sydney time - and there still remains a chance that some of the doomed spacecraft will made make landfall in Australia.

For me, this falls under the "Tornado Rule.": I want to see the damn thing! But I don't want anyone to get hurt, of course...

Here's a Twitter feed with constant updates.

Here's NASA's UARS site.

Update: Live satellite tracker:

Watch live streaming video from spaceflightnowmobile at

Update 12:47 PM Sydney: Oh hell yes. Projected to enter atmosphere in this neck of the woods.

Friday, September 23, 2011

1 in 4 American Young Children Live in Poverty

Good God.
The number of children living in poverty in the United States increased by 2.6 million since the recession began in 2007, bringing the total to an estimated 15.7 million poor children in 2010, according to researchers from the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire. The researchers estimate that nearly 1 in 4 children under the age of 6 now live in poverty.
Most of their parents do and will continue to vote for politicians who say the poor should pay more taxes and the rich should get more tax breaks. Figure that one out.

My CD, "Bottomfeeders"

Buying LT songs just got easier, and only 99 cents a pop.

 My favorite on this is probably "Sigh." Although Bob Evoniuk's National Reso-Phonic guitar on "You Can Use My Bathtub" is something to behold, too.

If you're not with CDBaby, you can find links to more digital music sites, including iTunes and Rhapsody, at the top right of the page. Thanks for listening.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Live Video Outside Troy Davis Prison [update: killed]

At 11:14 PM Troy Davis has just been pronounced dead. This is a shameful day for the U.S.

At 10:22 PM AP is reporting that the Supreme Court will not stay the execution of Troy Davis.

At 9:53 PM EST (U.S.) we're almost three hours post-scheduled execution time for American Troy Davis. Story here. Democracy Now is doing an amazing job outside the prison.


Watch live streaming video from democracynow at

Let's hope for good news soon.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Aussie Meat Pie

Behold, it is a pair of Aussie Meat Pies, seen here in their natural habitat, their flaky top crusts liberally adorned with the requisite tomato sauce.

Here they are again, seconds later, the victims, one gathers darkly, of a most brutal and savage attack.

And why do Aussies eat the Aussie Meat Pie? Because of the "classic taste of meat and gravy" is why.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Aussie Bacon

Bacon in the U.S. and Australia are completely different beasts, no near-pun intended. This is Aussie bacon:

We don't get the loin (or "eye") in America, just the strip, and I don't know why the hell not. I feel cheated!

And wow, there is a whole lot going on with bacon, I see, and now I get a bacon education:
Side bacon, or streaky bacon, comes from pork belly. It is very fatty with long layers of fat running parallel to the rind. This is the most common form of bacon in the United States.
And in Oz:
Middle bacon is the most common variety and are sold in "rashers". Middle bacon includes the streaky, fatty section along with the loin at one end.
Who knew?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Peg, the One-Footed Cockatoo

Wild, one-footed cocky that comes to visit several times a week, on a chair on the veranda. You can see the little stump of her left leg there. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Intrauterine Cannibalism

‎"Intrauterine Cannibalism" is the name given to a practice found in some shark species wherein the strongest shark pup of a litter eats all its brothers and sisters - while they're still in the womb - providing it with the physical and psychological nourishment it needs to ensure it is born fat, fit, and savage as a meth-addled mongoose.

 My twin sister is so lucky we don't get to read in the womb.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Kevin Spacey and I

Just marking the day when I got my name in an Aussie paper, in this case the Manly Daily, for the first time. (Down in the left hand corner under "Acoustic." Click to enlarge.)

Vanity post now over.

Tasmanian Tiger Hunted to Extinction For No Good Reason

Add another layer of depressing to the story of the Tassie Tiger:

The thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus), better known as the Tasmanian tiger, has long been the poster child for human-caused extinction. Hunted out of existence by Australian farmers who feared that the striped, canine-like marsupials would kill their sheep, the last thylacine died in captivity in Hobart Zoo 75 years ago next week, on September 7, 1936 (although the species was not officially declared extinct until about 25 years ago).

Now, just a few days before the annual observance of National Thylacine Day in Australia, a new study reveals that the predator was probably not a threat to sheep after all. Its notably long jaw (one of the animal’s most distinctive features) could open to an amazing 120 degrees but was too weak to kill sheep, according to a study published September 1 in the Journal of Zoology.

Great. (The 120° claim is a commonly repeated myth, I've read, just to note. They could open their mouths very wide, maybe to near 80°.)

Look at this beautiful animal, a marsupial dog:


I picture a prehistoric human, ostracized by his tribe and left to wander the old world alone.

After some years he comes across a river, and sees a huge fish in the water. He throws himself in and catches it, and carries it to the shore. He sets the fish on a rock and sits beside it.

"You will be my friend," he says, beaming. He sings the fish songs he has made up, songs about birds, about stars, about the family he misses so much. The fish dies.

The lonely wanderer knows nothing about fish.